How to show you’re a great fit for the job on your CV
Sometimes the job description in a job advert is too vague to allow you to accurately demonstrate why you’re a great fit for the job. It’s in moments like these that you will probably be tempted to fire off a generic CV and hope for the best.
Stop. Don’t do that.
Even in these types of situations, there are hidden questions in the job description that you can answer, you just have to look for them, in order to highlight why you’re such a great fit for the job.
The key to any demonstration of skill or experience is to show, don’t tell. Here’s how to show you’re a great fit for the job on your CV.
If ‘leader’ is a key requirement listed in the job description, your prospective employers are looking for someone to not only show people the way but who can inspire others to work as well.
To make it evident that you’re a leader, use keywords in your CV to highlight your examples, such as:
- Supervise – ‘Supervised a team of 5 on X project’.
- Delegate – ‘Oversaw the implementation of Y and delegated A, B and C to team members’.
- Instruct – ‘Onboarded new recruits and instructed their training program’.
- Coordinate – ‘Managed a team of Y people in order to coordinate X project’.
If the job description referenced the quality ‘self-starter’, you should highlight the times you were proactive or successfully completed work or a project on your own.
You don’t want to come across as unable to work in a team, but at the same time, you want to show you aren’t another sheep and that you can think for yourself and don’t need to be micromanaged.
Use key phrases to highlight your examples such as:
- ‘Took the initiative to…’
- ‘Proactively did X, Y or Z in order to achieve…’
- ‘Independently planned A, B and C and as a result, the company was able to…’
3. Team player
This isn’t in contrast to the self-starter point above, rather it should complement it.
Draw on those times when you were an effective team player; show what you brought to the party and how it positively influenced the outcome.
Use words like:
- Collaborated – This immediately implies that you had to work with another person or persons and that what you did, you did together. By highlighting your contribution to the team project, without taking full credit for it, you are displaying what a great team member you are.
- Partnered – This instantly shows the reader that what you did, you didn’t do on your own. You worked effectively in a partnership in order to get the task done.
- Contributed – Probably the least self-trumpet tooting word you can use. It implies that you worked in a team and that you were a member, rather than the leader, but it also says that you were a valuable addition.
4. Great communicator
Ironically enough, you want to be able to use fewer words to convey your communication skills. Recruiters don’t want to read a lengthy autobiography of your experience, just a two-page CV: they really don’t have the time.
This is where showing, not telling comes into its own.
If you want people to know you’re a great communicator, don’t waffle on for paragraphs about it.
Use these powerful verbs to underline your point:
- Wrote – You didn’t just put that report together, you wrote it.
- Presented – After you’d written that report, you presented it to over 50 colleagues.
- Engaged – You engaged with new customers and increased sales by X%.
- Persuaded – You persuaded senior staff to do A, and as a result, your marketing efforts grew by B%, which equated to £Z profit for the company.
It’s worth remembering what the purpose of your CV is – and that is to get you to the next stage of recruitment: the coveted interview.
So, if you want to show you’re a great fit for the job, it isn’t always about what you have done, it’s about using language that resonates with the recruiter.